16 Things to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation

If you’re one of the rare find individuals who have mastered the fine art of efficient and stress-free travel packing, then kudos to you my friend! For the rest of us, the much-anticipated excitement for an upcoming vacation quickly loses its luster the moment there’s a bare piece of luggage sitting at the foot of the bed.

Luckily, you’ve chosen to spend your vacation days wisely. And packing for a laid-back island-hopping getaway with The Moorings is surprisingly easy, especially when you have an expertly-crafted checklist to help you through the oh-so-dreaded process. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth time undocking on an unforgettable yacht charter vacation in the sun-soaked Caribbean, this guide will help you pack like a pro.

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The following list includes your basic essentials, those items that you definitely don’t want to forget:

Documents

This may go without saying, but it has happened to the best of us, so please make sure to pack your passport (unless departing on a Puerto Rico charter), proper forms of identification, and any additional travel documents that will be needed throughout your trip.

Pro Tip: While boating, having cash-on-hand is essential. This will help cover everything from taxi rides upon arrival to quick purchases in any beachside gift shop, mooring ball fees, and will ensure you are always prepared if paying by credit card is not an option.

Clothing

News flash—It gets hot in the Caribbean! You will basically live in a bathing suit while aboard your private yacht. Even when you go ashore, it is perfectly acceptable to wear swim attire with an appropriate cover-up – sundress, t-shirt, shorts, tank top. When possible, choose pieces made from dry-fit material for optimal comfort. Depending on your custom cruising itinerary, pack one or two “going out” outfits if you plan to have dinner at any of the fine dining restaurants.

Pro Tip: Pack light (seriously!) and opt for soft-sided luggage or a medium-large size duffel bag for easier cabin storage.

Shoes

You will be barefoot onboard, so a pair of flip-flops or sandals are ideal for slipping on and off when going ashore. And if you’re into hiking, pack a pair of sneakers or these staff-recommended water shoes.

Accessories

As a rule of thumb, go ahead and leave the jewelry at home. Hats can be stylish and protect from sun exposure, but keep wind factor and suitcase “crushing” in mind when making your hat selection. An adjustable strap is ideal.

Definitely pack a quality pair of sunglasses, preferably polarized for eye protection and enhanced viewing pleasure. But if you’re prone to losing sunglasses, do not bring your most expensive pair. It is worth purchasing a separate pair exclusively for your charter vacation.

Pro Tip: Use “croakies” or sunglass-straps, just in case your sunglasses slip off while tying lines, picking up mooring balls, or getting in and out of the dinghy.

Toiletries 

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Bring your personal necessities. Bathroom “head” storage is limited, so we strongly advise packing travel-size toiletries and liquids. Larger items like insect repellent and sunscreen (avoid the spray kind as it can make the deck slippery) can be purchased once you arrive at the base. Plus, this gives you the option to bypass checking your luggage.

Pro Tip: Ladies, leave your standard makeup bag at home and just bring a few of your must-haves – powder, lip gloss, mascara. It won’t be long before you’re rocking that beautiful bronze “vacation glow” and your sun-kissed face won’t need an ounce of makeup.

Plastic Bags 

Fun fact—dinghy rides aren’t splash-proof, folks. So when going ashore, it is a good idea to pack your small electronics like cameras and cell phones in a sealable plastic bag before placing them in your backpack or beach tote.

Pro Tip: Buy a “dry bag” in preparation for your vacation to keep your personal belongings safe and secure throughout the entire duration of the charter. This one also floats!

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Based on feedback from our "expert" in-house consulting team, a.k.a. The Moorings staff, some additional suggestions have been provided below. These optional items might inspire you to bring something fun or useful on board that you otherwise would have left at home. And if you have any Caribbean "packing secrets" of your own, we'd be glad to add them to our list. Share your best ideas in the blog comments below or on our Facebook page.

Card Games

A standard deck of cards or Cards Against Humanity can be enjoyed by the entire group from any of the indoor or outdoor common areas. Fun times and lots of laughs are sure to be had!

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Cooler Cup

Ice melts fast in the Caribbean sun. Plus, it is a valuable and limited resource on charter. A stainless steel tumbler will keep your ice frozen and your drink delightfully cold for longer! 

Flag

Hoist a flag to add some personal flair to your charter yacht by showing off your hometown pride or a favorite sports team. 

Hammock

Easily install your own “hangout and chill” hammock to enjoy during your easy-breezy Caribbean cruising vacation.

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Carabiners

How else are you going to hang your ultra-relaxing hammock? Carabiners are also useful for securing various items while underway.

Star Finder

Use a star finder to unleash your inner astrologer and enjoy stargazing from your own piece of unspoiled paradise.

Inflatable Lanterns

When you’re in the middle of an uncrowded anchorage in the kick back and relax Caribbean, these inflatable solar-charged lanterns add just the right amount of "mood lighting" ambiance on the water.

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GoPro

A GoPro is user-friendly and it lets you capture every unforgettable vacation memory both above and below water. 

Reliefband

If you’re prone to feeling “green” at sea, a rechargeable Reliefband alleviates motion sickness on the waves in minutes without any side effects. 

Inflatable Raft

Snorkel gear is included with your charter, and water toys such as noodles, kayaks and paddleboard are readily available for rent upon arrival, but an additional fun item to have onboard is an inflatable raft. Inflate it once onboard, tie it to the stern of the yacht, grab your favorite boat drink, and enjoy floating all your cares away!

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Plan My Caribbean Charter Escape

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